Why It Doesn't Matter if Blair Witch Doesn't Look as Good on Oculus Quest

Looks aren’t everything

Key Takeaway

  • Blair Witch is coming to Oculus Quest before the end of October 2020.
  • The Oculus Quest Edition will feature downgraded visuals, but more ghostly interactions.
  • Immersion and player interaction are often more important to VR experiences than graphics.
Hanging witch totems from the Blair Witch video game
Bloober Team

Despite any possible visual issues with the upcoming Blair Witch game on Oculus Quest, virtual reality (VR) brings more immersion and player interactivity. Ultimately, this means it doesn’t matter if Blair Witch looks as good on the Oculus Quest as it might on a non-VR platform.

Shortly after the original reveal for Blair Witch Oculus Quest Edition hit, concerns about lower quality graphics than had been in the original game began to surface. Twitter users like nepharyel, who tweeted, "Only Quest not normal VR?" took to the social media site to share their displeasure. Not everyone shares this sentiment, though.

"The overall immersiveness is far more important compared to the visuals," Soy, an avid virtual reality user, said in an email interview. Soy, who asked not to be named directly, has logged hundreds of hours in VR experiences, and has followed the industry closely for four or five years. 

He continued, "If the user feels like they are truly in a roller coaster experience, climbing up a huge hill, or picking things up and throwing them, then the overall enjoyment factor skyrockets."

Designed for Virtual Reality

Rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of the standalone VR headset from Facebook-owned Oculus, Blair Witch Oculus Quest Edition will feature environments that players can interact with using VR features like hand tracking controls. These added immersive features come at a cost, though.

Unlike more expensive VR headsets like the Valve Index, the standalone Oculus Quest utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 instead of your PC’s processing power. This means developers have less graphical and CPU power to work with, which can lead to sacrifices in areas like visual quality. The trade-off with the Quest device is that it doesn’t require any connection to your PC to play VR games, making for a lighter, untethered headset experience.

The overall immersiveness is far more important compared to the visuals.

Soy believes a game’s graphics are only a small part of the overall game. More affordable VR options like the Oculus Quest are also important. 

"Not everyone can afford, or wants to purchase, a crazy headset such as the Valve Index," he said, in reference to the drastic price difference between the two headsets. The Valve Index, considered one of the best by many VR enthusiasts, normally retails for $999, while the Quest 2 will only run players $299.

Immersion Means More Than Graphics

For many VR games, immersion plays a large part in how the title plays out. In fact, VR games like Superhot have taken a very stylized approach to simple graphics, and rely more heavily on how the user interacts with the world around them. It’s this level of immersion, according to Soy, that really brings the entire experience to life.

"I have a few favorite titles I play often that are fairly simple games when you look at them," Soy wrote in our email conversation. "But they are insanely immersive. Any game where I can physically bend down and pick something up, or press buttons or flip switches, makes me feel like a happy kid again." 

With Blair Witch, developer Bloober Team has promised that the virtual reality experience will offer a way for players to experience the story unlike ever before.

The Full Picture

Despite any possible visual downgrades, Bloober Team has also assured gamers of new content, including additional ghostly encounters that weren’t in the original game. This new content, on top of the added ability to interact directly with the environment, will offer a much more immersive experience in VR.

Any game where I can physically bend down and pick something up, or press buttons or flip switches, makes me feel like a happy kid again.

Of course, if you value graphics over anything, the development team has also revealed that Blair Witch is coming to other VR headsets at a later date, though no official details on which headsets the game will support have been given at this time.

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